Mid-Week Open Thread (2010-06-30)

Here is your open thread for the mid-week on June 30th, 2010. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

69 comments:

  1. 1
    Trigger says:

    We are rowing like crazy. Employers in the private sector are finally starting to add jobs. So this is very good news and shows things are becoming better.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Private-employers-hire-rb-35723946.html;_ylt=AhQvQya3PMzjaUEiarLLMPa7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1NWlsbDQxBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3BTdG9yaWVzBHNsawNwcml2YXRlZW1wbG8-?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=1&asset=&ccode=

    You always need to put a positive spin on things. I think because of the stimulus we did not lose so many jobs and it was not a complete meltdown. Now it will be just tough times – nothing else.

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private employers added a paltry 13,000 jobs in June, compared to a revised gain of 57,000 in May, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Thursday.

    The May figure was originally reported as a gain of 55,000.

  2. 2
    Ricoshea says:

    Or from this article with a bit more data:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703426004575338580436559078.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    A couple key quotes:

    “The June unemployment rate is projected to edge up to 9.8% from 9.7% in May.”

    “TrimTabs Investment Research said that because of massive layoffs by the Census Bureau, the economy lost 152,000 jobs in June while private-sector hiring was positive but weak.

    “Private sector added just 91,000 jobs in June, much less than the 150,000 needed to keep up with population growth,” said Charles Biderman, chief executive officer of TrimTabs.”

    looks like the “lagging indicator” is going the wrong direction…so ends the “recovery”

  3. 3
    Trigger says:

    RE: Ricoshea @ 2 – Remember. Initially everybody was rejoicing at the fact that say 200K jobs were lost per month. Then people were cheering that only 50K jobs are being lost per month. And now we are adding jobs but it does not keep up with population growth.

    Obama can start hiring immediately for printed cash. So Obama needs to print to get some workers do sthg and then those workers can start spending some cash. Obama is a Nobel Prize winner so he knows what to do. Trust me.

  4. 4
    Trigger says:

    Another thing that is interesting is that now we have the world kind of split up between different tiers.

    TIER #1 – 3rd world countries like Hungary or Czech Republic
    Those countries need to keep spending and debt in control. If they do not do this – IMF comes in and does a bailout which painful. The countries need to curb spending which starts a painful recession.

    TIER #2 – 2nd world countries like Greece
    Those countries can spend in a reckless manner. But they do get penalized. However tax payers of other countries ensure that the transition is not too painful. Of course – this is in relative terms. You can see people protesting. Still tax payers of other countries pay for this mess.

    TIER#3 – 1st world countries like the US
    Here you can spend and then spend some more. The interest rates still drop. Investors are not worried about debt. IMF rules do not apply. Economics rules do not apply. You can party like crazy. And then party some more.

    I think this should be key top realize what should be done and how you as an investor should react.

  5. 5

    By pfft @ 67:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 55in the same way that people who don’t buy homes drives costs down so should the same happen with healthcare.

    To try to connect this back up to housing, during even very hot periods in the market only a relatively small percentage of the housing stock and population is in the market. During 2006 in King County only about 28,000 SFR properties sold and 10,000 condos (plus some FSBOs and foreclosures). There were over 700,000 households in King County in 2000, and undoubtedly more in 2006. If you assume half were rentals, only about 10% of the properties sold, so roughly 90% of the households didn’t buy a house. That didn’t drive down prices.

    And going to another market, the stock market, I would estimate that 99.9% of the population today is not buying Apple stock. Based on that, the price should plummet to record lows! :-D

  6. 6
    wreckingbull says:

    By Trigger @ 1:

    You always need to put a positive spin on things.

    Isn’t that what got us into this mess? We need to add 100K jobs/month just to tread water at current unemployment levels. I remain unconvinced.

  7. 7
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Trigger @ 3

    “Obama can start hiring immediately for printed cash. So Obama needs to print to get some workers do sthg and then those workers can start spending some cash. Obama is a Nobel Prize winner so he knows what to do. Trust me.”

    He already tried that- hired a couple thousand bankers @ $millions/year. Didn’t seem to have much impact- even yacht sales continue to fall. ;-)

  8. 8

    By wreckingbull @ 6:

    By Trigger @ 1:

    You always need to put a positive spin on things.

    Isn’t that what got us into this mess? We need to add 100K jobs/month just to tread water at current unemployment levels. I remain unconvinced.

    I wouldn’t say you always need to put a positive spin on things, but you do need to somehow manage emotions of the general population. Too pessimistic and you get economic contraction–too optimistic you get bubbles.

  9. 9
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – You forgot the third option – honesty, with a real course charted as to how we get out of the woods, and programs that actually put people to work. I think you would be surprised with how well this would work.

    If the Great One stood up and conceded that past leadership, both Democratic and Republican, has failed us miserably, that would be a start. We are just getting more of the same, packaged with a different ribbon.

  10. 10
    JimN says:

    I’m puzzled about the potential extension of the tax credit. From my understanding, the original Apr 30 deadline to sign purchase agreement is the same, but there will be 3 more months to be able to close. Wouldn’t many of these close anyway? If it were so critical to get the credit, why not write in a contingency to have to close by June 30th. Once again an example of mistargeting “stimulus” money. The lopsided vote of the house was also embarassing.

    The best hope for stimulus is for well targeted measures that will hopefully invest in future growth, not giving more money to people who would have likely closed anyway.

    The main reason that further stimulus/housing support worries me is that the politicians seem to have a knack for really misallocating it. Thus we will find ourselves in a deeper hole down the road.

  11. 11
    Sniglet says:

    I have just posted the link to my Bear radio show from last night.

    In this episode we discuss which, if any, techniques are useful for predicting market directions. We talk about everything from cosmology and technical analysis to tea leaves. We also talk about growing problems with underfunded private and public pension plans.

    http://surkanstance.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-week-on-bear-radio-can-cosmology.html

    This show is always live every Tuesday night at 9:00pm.

  12. 12
    Ned says:

    By wreckingbull @ 9:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – We are just getting more of the same, packaged with a different ribbon.

    Nevermind that nearly all of the 2008 presidential candidates were members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR being a pro-communist, privately-funded thinktank which represents corporate political interests, primarily. Obama’s wife is also a member of the CFR. Obama’s senior foreign policy advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is a known advocate of communism.

    Note how you are just learning this, since the mainstream media never gave anyone as much as a hint about any of this. You want to know why nothing changes — it’s because the mainstream media no longer serves to educate and inform. It serves another master.

  13. 13
    Dirty_Renter says:

    Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer, On Wednesday June 30, 2010, 3:43 pm
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A former top executive of American International Group Inc. acknowledged Wednesday that his division more than tripled the amount of risky investments it insured in the three years leading up to the 2008 financial meltdown.
    But Joseph Cassano, chief executive for AIG’s key Financial Products division, rebuffed accusations from a special panel investigating the crisis that he relaxed standards to issue more credit default swaps.
    AIG received a $182 billion taxpayer bailout — the biggest of the federal rescues — after it nearly collapsed and helped trigger the financial crisis.
    “We never diluted our underwriting standards at any point in time,” Cassano told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a bipartisan panel created by Congress, in his first public comments since the crisis.

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Is it just me or are we living in strange times?
    Dirty Renter

  14. 14

    RE: Dirty_Renter @ 13 – I think he’s probably talking about something else besides the transactions that brought the company down. Not to defend him, because that’s very deceiving if that’s what he’s doing.

  15. 15

    By Ned @ 12:

    By wreckingbull @ 9:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – We are just getting more of the same, packaged with a different ribbon.

    “”Nevermind that nearly all of the 2008 presidential candidates were members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR being a pro-communist, privately-funded thinktank which represents corporate political interests, primarily. Obama’s wife is also a member of the CFR. Obama’s senior foreign policy advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is a known advocate of communism.”

    First of all, how can you represent corporate interests and be pro communist?
    Second of all, Brzezinski does not hold a position in the Obama administration. When he was Carter’s National Security advisor, he was known for advocating hard line policies towards the Soviets. He is a known advocate of communism? Why? How? Can you show me one statement he ever made advocating communism?
    You know, I don’t trust the Council on Foreign Relations either, or the Trilateral Commission, which Brzezinski co-founded.
    But it just seems to me that terms like socialist and communist are being bandied about too much these days. We’re not living in the 1950’s, where everyone’s neighbor was being suspected of being a secret communist, and where many people lost livelihoods based on innuendo.
    When corporate control and government control intertwine, that’s fascism, not communism.
    Fascism and communism are both bad, but Hitler supported and was supported by large German corporations, Stalin and Lenin took companies away from private owners and made them state owned.
    The corporate control of the mainstream media and the corporate control over our government and our economy are much closer to fascist than communist. But maybe Fascism is cool these days.

  16. 16
    D. in Ballard says:

    RE: Ned @ 12 – Softwareengineer? Where are you?

  17. 17
    Leigh says:

    “3rd world countries like Hungary or Czech Republic”

    WTH?! If those are 3rd world countries then how would you desribe many countries in Africa?

  18. 18
    pfft says:

    By Ricoshea @ 2:<blockquote
    looks like the "lagging indicator" is going the wrong direction…so ends the "recovery"yes, one month’s data ends the recovery!

  19. 19
    pfft says:

    By Trigger @ 3:

    RE: Ricoshea @ 2

    Obama can start hiring immediately for printed cash. So Obama needs to print to get some workers do sthg and then those workers can start spending some cash. Obama is a Nobel Prize winner so he knows what to do. Trust me.

    I thought we were in too much debt? now we’re printing? you guys shift the goal posts so well.

  20. 20
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Trigger @ 1

    A Drop In the Bucket Trigger

    We’re insourcing 150,000 job applicants a month into America and the job scarcity from just uncontrolled population growth alone the last 10 years has snow-balled so big now, it would take decades to fix even immediately plugging this environmental disaster Gulf Oil Leak.

  21. 21
    pfft says:

    By Ned @ 12:

    By wreckingbull @ 9:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – We are just getting more of the same, packaged with a different ribbon.

    Nevermind that nearly all of the 2008 presidential candidates were members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR being a pro-communist, privately-funded thinktank which represents corporate political interests, primarily. Obama’s wife is also a member of the CFR. Obama’s senior foreign policy advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is a known advocate of communism.

    Note how you are just learning this, since the mainstream media never gave anyone as much as a hint about any of this. You want to know why nothing changes — it’s because the mainstream media no longer serves to educate and inform. It serves another master.

    thanks for the update on what the new nutcase conspiarcy theory is.

  22. 22
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 20:

    RE: Trigger @ 1

    A Drop In the Bucket Trigger

    We’re insourcing 150,000 job applicants a month into America and the job scarcity from just uncontrolled population growth alone the last 10 years has snow-balled so big now, it would take decades to fix even immediately plugging this environmental disaster Gulf Oil Leak.

    the US population is just barely growing about the rate needed to add people. do you have some other data we don’t know about?

  23. 23
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 7

    My Brother-in-law’s Daughters Run a Marina in Seattle

    They charge $20/FT to rent moorage. A 40 ft boat is $800/mo. That’s why people are abandoning sail boats in Seattle….imagine how worthless fishing boats will be along the Gulf with no fish income to pay moorage.

  24. 24
    David Losh says:

    RE: Ned @ 12

    Well, OK, Council for Foreign Relations is communist, so what, who would possibly care?

    I asked one time about China being communist, and the woman said how else would you control a billion people? Democracy? Can you imagine getting a consensus out of a billion people?

    How about Africa? Better yet, how about Iraq? How’s that western democracy thingy going in Iraq? How about Greece, the center of democracy? Aren’t they a socialist country?

    Who cares? What’s to report?

  25. 25
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: pfft @ 22

    Its Common Knowledge We Need 100K/MO Jobs to Keep Up With Current Legal Immigration Rates Per INS, Ask VP Biden

    I added in 50K undocumented per month [so does Numbersusa], but believe me, IMO that’s low balling it.

    And the 2.2 birthrate in America isn’t shrinking, it’s growing without more immigration.

  26. 26
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: pfft @ 21

    Open the URL Below and Scroll Down

    It’s no conspiracy, it’s true….Michelle Obama is on the Chicago CFR Board. It’s public records.

    http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/chicago_council_board_directors.php

  27. 27
    David Losh says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 25

    It’s kind of funny about jobs. Jobs is such a general term.

    Like Real Estate agents, Loan Originators, Escrow Officers, and Title Representatives, those a jobs that will dwindle, so what can replace them? Financial Sector jobs, who will want the financial planning that was so sought after when there is no wealth to manage?

    Stock Broker, Travel agent, or insurance sales are gone to the internet.

    What will jobs look like in the next few years?

  28. 28
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: David Losh @ 24

    I Looked Up Its Agenda

    It’s latest 2009 issue:

    “….Home > Reports > Report Details
    Renewing American Leadership in the Fight Against Global Hunger and Poverty Back
    More than 700 million people who survive on less than $1 per day live in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. In September 2008, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs announced a Global Agricultural Development project and convened a bipartisan group of foreign policy and development leaders to build support for a renewed U.S. commitment to alleviating global poverty through agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

    The group’s report, Renewing American Leadership in the Fight Against Global Hunger and Poverty: The Chicago Initiative on Global Agricultural Development, was released on February 25, 2009, in Washington, D.C. at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The report includes five recommendations and more than twenty specific action items for how the United States, through increased agricultural development assistance and partnerships at home and abroad, could help more than 270 million people lift themselves out of poverty by 2020 and restore the United States as a force for positive change in the world.

    Dan Glickman, former U.S. secretary of agriculture, and Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the UN World Food Program, served as cochairs of the bipartisan group consisting of thirteen former executive branch, congressional, international organization, and civic leaders in the fields of U.S. foreign policy, trade, international economics, and agricultural development and international organizations.

    This project was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Learn more:
    Global Agricultural Development Project Web site
    Final Report
    Project Announcement Press Release
    Final Report Press Release…”

    How this is done without immediate depopulation is not addressed. IMO, this counsel’s findings are worthless without mandating world depopulation.

  29. 29
    What's my name says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 28

    Please expand on your preferred methodology for “immediate depopulation”.

  30. 30
    pfft says:

    By What’s my name @ 29:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 28

    Please expand on your preferred methodology for “immediate depopulation”.

    trust me. you don’t want to get into it too much with the overpopulation people.

    in my opinion the overpopulation and peak oil people just have no imagination. the world is too complex for them to understand so just assume the absolute worst. until everyone drives a prius or bikes to work, has a garden in every inch of their lawn and collects every drop of water off their roof we are not in danger of running out of resources. the US is barely growing.

  31. 31
    Trigger says:

    RE: Leigh @ 17 – Leigh – it is generally assumed that any country that is not part of Western Europe, the US and Canada is a 3rd world country. Even if say Czech Republic has GDP per capita that is higher than in Portugal – it is still perceived as a 3rd world country.

    So I am talking how investors view this. It does not matter that the standard of living there resembles the west and is say 16x higher than in Africa. They are still all lumped together in 1 bucket.

    I remember when the crisis started Goldman started playing against Polish zloty (Poland is similarly developed like Czech or Hungary). Articles started coming out that Poland and Ukraine somehow lumped together. And what does Ukraine and Poland have in common except for a common border – not much. But you can scare investors by playing on their perception. You can say
    Poland and Ukraine share a border and history. Ukraine GDP will tank 20% this year. (implied – Poland’s GDP will do the same. It is irrelevant that Poland’s GDP was set to grow while Ukrainian goes down 20%. It is all about perception). And people made money when the currency tanked and then made even more money when the currency went back up. Banks love this.

    So the point stands that countries are lumped into buckets based on perception etc.

  32. 32
    sallybuttons says:

    RE: Trigger @ 31 – “it is generally assumed blahblahblah”…dopey/

  33. 33
    David Losh says:

    RE: What’s my name @ 29

    The use of condoms.

  34. 34
    David Losh says:

    RE: Trigger @ 31

    Really not true, these Eastern European countries are called Emerging Markets. Third World are parts of Africa, South America, and Asia, not even necessarily entire countries. Peru can be urban or Third World. Mexico, can be Third World, depending on where you are. China, for sure, can be considered Third World.

    The dollar a day subsistence farming definition goes a long way in that, but there are other aspects. You can have a contained community which is different than subsistence. Subsistence is usually relegated to a limit crop production.

    Anyway there are a lot of criteria for Third World.

  35. 35

    By Trigger @ 31:

    RE: Leigh @ 17 – Leigh – it is generally assumed that any country that is not part of Western Europe, the US and Canada is a 3rd world country. .

    Which technically would include Great Britain, as was noted years ago I believe at the beginning of the Monty Python film Life of Brian. ;-)

  36. 36
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 30

    AMS?

    There used to be a person who signed as AMS. Tim asked them to be a part of a special project, then we never heard from them again.

    Now there’s you. You make random comments.

    Over population is a real issue. The reason it has been resolved through history is by death, most recently, here, in the United States where measles, and like foreign viruses killed off the indigenous population.

    We now have global health which is increasing the population until there is a virus that can not be contained.

    What many people see is that economics, and starvation, will be the next global killer. Just to include the peak oil concerns you have, because for me it’s a stupid useless product that does more damage in a day than it’s worth, let’s use the example of corn.

    The United States promoted ethanol. The United States encouraged corn as a cash crop for ethanol. Subsistence farmers in Mexico watched the price of corn plummet. Agri business is the United States could produce more than enough cheap corn for ethanol. Swaths of people in Mexico went hungry, they had no money, they only had corn, thank God you can eat it, but there was no trading.

    Smug little Americans never get the idea that adding to population adds to the number of people to be fed. clothed, and housed. If you don’t provide, these people have nothing to lose. So while Americans busily go about the business of Mc Donald’s there are real issues in the world that are closing in.

  37. 37

    What do you all think about the initiative to end the state’s “monopoly” in Workers’ Compensation insurance? It looks like it will probably be on in November.

    I have mixed feelings in that it’s good for business, bad for workers, but in the long run what is good for business is good for workers. Also, a private system might do a bit more on the preventative side, which would be good for workers.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    David Losh says:

    Actually I had a request for a post about foreclosures, Bank Owned Properties, and short sales.

    I’m not seeing any deals in the world of foreclosures. People have shown me projects that look really shakey to me. I understand buying them, some times, at the prices paid at auction, but it seems like fair market value to me.

    A buddy showed me a place that he did for resale, and he is getting $40K. I just don’t get it, because it is all in three months, a big risk, cash money in, and if he does, and I mean if, he comes out the year with $160K, if it sells, if he can find the next one, if that sells.

    If, and this is really the if, the business of Real Estate wholesaling is over, and we settle into just trading property back, and forth, that would really slow the market place.

  40. 40
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 37

    My God, my favorite topic. State Industrial, and Worker’s Comp are the biggest arguments against government run health insurance. I’m surprised no has brought them up before.

    The State of Washington is the most useless, piece of poop on earth in it’s attempt to administer these programs for the benefit of State Workers. Rather than help business, or privately paid workers, in the State of Washington, these programs are designed to provide jobs to government workers. There is no other benefit. Unemployment Insurance is a joke, and I am sure it is out of money from some ill concieved investment strategy.

  41. 41

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 37:

    What do you all think about the initiative to end the state’s “monopoly” in Workers’ Compensation insurance? It looks like it will probably be on in November.

    I have mixed feelings in that it’s good for business, bad for workers, but in the long run what is good for business is good for workers. Also, a private system might do a bit more on the preventative side, which would be good for workers.

    I just don’t see that what’s good for business is good for workers. Offshoring to China is good for business. Slavery was good for business. Sweat shops were good for business.

    But I too have mixed feelings to a degree. The state hasn’t done a good job re: Workers Comp.
    But one can almost guarantee that employees in a privatized workers comp system are going to make a lot less money in order to ensure profits, and results in other things that have been privatized, like prisons and public transit, have been less than stellar, and ultimately more expensive.

  42. 42
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: What’s my name @ 29

    We Can Start By Putting Demography Science [Overpopulation Control] Back in Our Public School Curriculams Again

    It isn’t politics, it’s a proven science.

  43. 43
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: pfft @ 30

    Wrong Trigger

    Recycling and green energy use in your home for a year= 1 Boeing plane ride in a carbon footprint. If you have a dog, its equal to one Hummer in the driveway.

    I hear to make alcohol from corn requires more oil than just burning pure gasoline.

    To feed the world like we eat in N. America would require every drop of oil produced in the world, none for cars, heat, plastics, etc, etc…

    Al Gore’s Prius may look good, but just producing any new car sucks oil and causes a global and environmental carbon footprint that’s horrifying…..it’s far more ecological to keep used cars going, especially with 20+ mpg. The Prius battery production causes lead contamination in Canada the size of Rhoad Island.

  44. 44
    laterite says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 37

    My thought is that anything backed by the BIAW is likely only going to be good for the BIAW.

  45. 45
    Dirty_Renter says:

    RE: pfft @ 30
    I think you’d enjoy the writings of Julian Simon….very nice professor ….one of those old guys who used to keep his office door open so he could say ‘hi’ to everyone.

  46. 46

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 41 – I think it’s good for workers in that arguably more business will locate in Washington with a less expensive workers’ comp system. It’s bad for them in that they are more likely to have legitimate claims denied.

  47. 47

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 46:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 41 – I think it’s good for workers in that arguably more business will locate in Washington with a less expensive workers’ comp system. It’s bad for them in that they are more likely to have legitimate claims denied.

    You’ll have a job, but you better not get hurt.

  48. 48

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 47:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 46:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 41 – I think it’s good for workers in that arguably more business will locate in Washington with a less expensive workers’ comp system. It’s bad for them in that they are more likely to have legitimate claims denied.

    You’ll have a job, but you better not get hurt.

    Exactly. Or maybe you better be hurt real good in a very verifiable way.

    BTW, many/most real estate agents don’t realize that they are covered by L&I. Twist an ankle showing a REO, and your medical expenses should be covered.

  49. 49
    Pegasus says:

    Real estate agents win again at the expense of taxpayers. About 180,000 buyers needed the tax credit extension, the National Association of Realtors estimated. I am sure those commissions on those 180,000 homes had nothing to do with the extension. Why.. that would be very self-serving for the NAR to lobby for the extension, wouldn’t it? Taxpayers are bilked once again and so are most of the buyers in paying an artificially inflated price for their new home. I am sure no one will backdate the contract to the April date either to further fleece the taxpayers.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Home-tax-credit-extension-apf-2773365974.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=1&asset=&ccode=

    NEW YORK (AP) — Homebuyers worried about closing their house purchases before the tax credit cutoff can relax after the government extended the deadline.

    Congress sent President Barack Obama a plan to give homebuyers an extra three months to finish qualifying for federal tax incentives that boosted home sales this spring. The House approved the measure on Tuesday and the Senate approved it Wednesday night. Obama is expected to sign it Friday morning.

    The legislation gives buyers until Sept. 30 to complete their purchases and qualify for tax credits of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for existing owners who move. Under the original terms, buyers had until April 30 to get a signed sales contract and until June 30 to complete the sale.

    The bill only allows people who already have signed contracts to finish at the later date. Nearly 3 million taxpayers claimed the tax credits through May 22 at a cost of more than $21 billion, according to the Treasury Department.

  50. 50
    cheapseats says:

    RE: Trigger @ 31 – “– it is generally assumed that any country that is not part of Western Europe, the US and Canada is a 3rd world country”

    Assumed by who? The terms came out of the cold war based upon alignments, their meaning has become diluted.
    1st world = Western Countries
    2nd world = USSR and aligned countries,
    3rd world = everyone else

  51. 51
    S-Crow says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 49 -” I am sure no one will backdate the contract to the April date either to further fleece the taxpayers.”

    It would mean escrow is involved in the backdating which would be very difficult to manufacture being that escrow funds (unless earnest money is a note due at closing which is a useless form of EM anyway) have to be deposited within a specific time period after a purchase and sale is written, typically a few days after mutual acceptance or some other event specified within the contract. You may be able to back date, but the deposit of escrow funds would be the very first place I would look.

    I don’t see that happening much and the paper trail would be quite easy to track.

  52. 52
    Pegasus says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 51
    Lots of things are easy to track but no one does. Why is that? Because we live in a society of fraudsters getting away with destroying the economy and yet no one goes to jail. Obama can’t find any laws broken although anyone with a brain knows there were many. Many are already reporting unusual requests to show a June 30 closing when the contract was signed after the end of April. Why is that? I am sure you do a quality and honest business but many others do not. Look how many IRS agents have been caught fabricating their own claims. This is just another expense and fraud that will be paid by the taxpayers as orchestrated by our corrupt CONgress who will ALWAYS take the money and pretend they are helping the American public. They aren’t, they are assisting in the fleecing of Americans and they know it.

  53. 53
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 48

    The home owner’s policy would cover the twisted ankle.

    As near as I can figure, after being in trades related businesses for forty years, is that the State covers nothing. They have thousands of workers who make your life a living hell if you even think about filing a claim. Then they go after the business owner, raise rates across the board, and still drag their feet to provide inadequate payments.

    Every once in a while you will hear some one say that they were treated well, but I don’t know any one who’s saying that. There are specific pay outs that were hard fought to get, after all they have to pay out something, but it is a minimum.

    The State of Washington, and probably all States employ the lowest form of life, to do nothing. Labor and Industries, and Worker’s Compensation are two of those things that employ thugs, and morons, probably as a welfare to work program.

    Come to think of it, it is the reason I haven’t done business in the State of Washington. Some States want businesses. Other countries for sure want businesses. The State of Washington hates business, hates business owners, will do anything to steal as much money as they possibly can to employ these thugs, and morons.

    It was Mike Lowry I think that started the hiring that has never ended here. Really if you want a job go to the State. I think maybe now you have to be a moron with a college degree. So if you want a job just apply to the State, and take whatever you can get. Then just keep applying until you get to the job you want.

    Honestly they will hire any body, but I do think now they want you to have a college degree. That’s OK though because they own the colleges. They just want to see how stupid you are, and how gullible, before they hire you. The more stupid, the better your chances for a really good job.

  54. 54

    By S-Crow @ 51:

    RE: Pegasus @ 49 -” I am sure no one will backdate the contract to the April date either to further fleece the taxpayers.”

    It would mean escrow is involved in the backdating which would be very difficult to manufacture being that escrow funds (unless earnest money is a note due at closing which is a useless form of EM anyway) have to be deposited within a specific time period after a purchase and sale is written, typically a few days after mutual acceptance or some other event specified within the contract. You may be able to back date, but the deposit of escrow funds would be the very first place I would look.

    I don’t see that happening much and the paper trail would be quite easy to track.

    I think you’d need to have two agents involved, but you could avoid having the escrow involved by perhaps having it be a contingent sale with a delayed inspection and the money not due until after inspection or maybe even a feasibility study.

    The thing is though I’ve seen something about how they’re already catching people at the fraud in this area. It would be an extremely stupid move to participate in such a scheme.

  55. 55

    RE: David Losh @ 53 – Once again David, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I might give you the issue of the homeowner’s insurance paying, assuming there was insurance. It would depend on which coverage is primary, and I’m not sure of that. But that would assume you were on the property when injured and that they had a homeowner’s type policy (e.g. not a bank owned where coverage might be more limited).

    In the past 3 years there have been almost 300 real estate agent claims with L&I and over 50 of those have had payouts of 5 or 6 figures. It’s an important protection for agents, many of which might not have other coverage, or might have high deductibles, etc.

    BTW, the whole reason that the initiative is going through is because most in business think L&I is far too favorable to the employee.

  56. 56
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 55

    Onca again Kary, you don’t get it. Insurance has to pay out. They have to. It’s nothing to them to pay out six figures because they turn around, and raise rates.

    Where do you think the money comes from? You? Your pay in? No, as was pointed out to me in another comment it is a pool of funds, we all pay.

    It is a welfare program at best, and yes every property should have home owner insurance, even bank owned.

  57. 57

    David, make up your mind. In 53 you claim L&I makes your life a living hell if you make a claim and drag their feet before making inadequate payments, and then in 56 you claim they’re giving out money hand over fist because they don’t care. Which is it?

    But yes, I know that to the extent there are claims the rates go up. The system is self funding that way, and real estate agents have one of the lowest rates out there.

    As to the insurance issue the banks have insurance, but it’s very limited coverage. I really doubt they have the extras in their coverage like medical for anyone who is injured on the property even without fault, as is the case with a homeowner’s or even renter’s policy.

  58. 58
    David Losh says:

    What employers object to is that if you have a bad accident it’s a cut, and dried thing. If I recall a finger is $5K, left hand $10K, right hand $15K. It makes no difference to the person who lost the hand.

    These thugs come in to inspect the accident site, the employer has to justify, the process goes on, and in the mean time it’s a waiting game.

    They do have to pay out, it’s a matter of when, where, how, and what.

    Yes, they will give Real Estate agents money. That’s a no brainer. A Real Estate agent may pull them selves together enough to go to court. A person with a bad back, maybe they can jack around. Maybe if they don’t look so good they’ll never pay.

    The State has absolutely nothing better to do than to jack people around, and especially in court. They pay out according to how it will look in court, or how it will look to the boss.

    It’s a screwed up system that is loaded with employees with nothing to do.

    Let me give you a couple of personal examples. I had a cook who worked at a corporate company for twelve years. She worked for me for three months before filing a claim for carpel tunnel (sp?). First the State pays for the surgery, but stops paying for therapy. It’s a claim against me.

    A guy works for me about three years and falls in a hole. Not my hole, but it was on a site where we were working. Big investigation, every body is at fault, and my guy never gets a pay out. He can’t prove injury. He’s been working his whole life and who’s to say what injury happened when, where, or how. I advocated for the guy.

    You’re in deep water here because I know hundreds of people who would rather die than file a claim with the State of Washington. Probably your point about the State paying out to Real Estate agents is the biggest problem. Construction pays high premiums, and like I said some of these people aren’t to pretty. The State of Washington has a reputation of collecting those high premiums, and jacking every body around.

  59. 59
    Pegasus says:

    RE: David Losh @ 58 – It is like all insurance. Force the claimant into court to get his money on big payouts. A company makes money by denying claims. Negotiate lower settlements and get a big bonus. Why should Washington State be any different? There might be fraudulent claims. Prosecute them with the help of law enforcement and the courts. Make them villains. What happens when you fraudulently deny a claim? Nothing. It’s called good business practices. Pay yourself and top employees an extra bonus. Look how many jobs exist in doing exactly this for all insurance.

  60. 60
    David Losh says:

    The way the State is different is that they do have layer, after layer of petty thug employees, coupled with prosecutors, and law enforcement.

    The State running an insurance company is different from the private sector. Both are bad, in my opinion, but having government making the laws, then enforcing the laws, gives the State all of the discretion.

  61. 61
    Pegasus says:

    RE: David Losh @ 60 – So you don’t believe the State Insurance Commissioner and our state legislators are in bed with big business interests of insurance companies? They all make a lot of noise and pass laws and rules that benefit big business while claiming they are doing the opposite. I know my insurance rates go up beyond the rate of inflation every year. Why is that? Crooks at work! The big con. Both here and across our nation and no one will stop it.

  62. 62

    By Pegasus @ 61:

    RE: David Losh @ 60 – So you don’t believe the State Insurance Commissioner and our state legislators are in bed with big business interests of insurance companies? They all make a lot of noise and pass laws and rules that benefit big business while claiming they are doing the opposite. I know my insurance rates go up beyond the rate of inflation every year. Why is that? Crooks at work! The big con. Both here and across our nation and no one will stop it.

    It even almost seems as if these politicians call up the insurance CEOs and say something like ” I’m going to need to say something nasty about you in public. Don’t worry, I don’t mean it. I’ll still make sure you get all the profits you can swallow.”

  63. 63

    By Pegasus @ 61:

    I know my insurance rates go up beyond the rate of inflation every year. Why is that? Crooks at work! The big con. Both here and across our nation and no one will stop it.

    Well one reason is that this year your medical insurance has to cover mental health at the same limits as other items. You can’t have a mandated change like that for free.

    So rather than stop big increases, government is actually the cause of increases.

  64. 64

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 62:

    By Pegasus @ 61:

    RE: David Losh @ 60 – So you don’t believe the State Insurance Commissioner and our state legislators are in bed with big business interests of insurance companies? They all make a lot of noise and pass laws and rules that benefit big business while claiming they are doing the opposite. I know my insurance rates go up beyond the rate of inflation every year. Why is that? Crooks at work! The big con. Both here and across our nation and no one will stop it.

    It even almost seems as if these politicians call up the insurance CEOs and say something like ” I’m going to need to say something nasty about you in public. Don’t worry, I don’t mean it. I’ll still make sure you get all the profits you can swallow.”

    To some extent that’s true, just as the given and take between the Dems and Reps is already pre-arranged.

  65. 65
    David Losh says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 61

    With Labor and Industries run by the State it seems stupid to file a complaint. If you are treated unfairly in a claim from the State, and you are going to the State for recourse, there’s something wrong.

  66. 66

    By David Losh @ 65:

    With Labor and Industries run by the State it seems stupid to file a complaint. If you are treated unfairly in a claim from the State, and you are going to the State for recourse, there’s something wrong.

    You still have access to the court system, so unless you think the judges are bought off, what’s the issue?

    And again, why is your opinion different than the rest of organized business, that wants to get the state out of worker’s comp because they give out too much money, raising rates?

  67. 67
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 66

    Having access to the courts is a last resort. The government has nothing but time to go to court so I don’t see how that is any help to any one, except the government, which employs more people.

    Workers comp is the employees money. We pay, they pay, we all pay for Worker’s Comp. It’s a game. It’s an expensive game that only the government workers benefit from.

    No one is benefitting from Labor and Industries, or Workers Comp. The money is pooled for the use of the State. I’m well aware that any type of insurance will be the same, but there will be choices that employees can make.

    Bottom line is you made the point when you said Real Estate agents collected L&I for the lower rate that they pay. In construction it’s a joke, when some one says they collected L&I it’s a joke. Huge premiums are paid for what you get out of them, and you are very correct that the recourse is to go to court.

    Just because people get pay outs, because I think that’s a law, doesn’t mean it’s fair, equitable, or adequate.

  68. 68

    By David Losh @ 67:

    Having access to the courts is a last resort. The government has nothing but time to go to court so I don’t see how that is any help to any one, except the government, which employs more people.

    And it’s also the last resort if you have an insurance company run system. I’m not seeing the distinction.

  69. 69
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 68

    It’s sole recourse with the State. Going to the State Insurance Commission with a complaint about the State doesn’t even need a conspiracy theory.

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